- 5 September, 2004

Maria Sharapova and her father often trade glances between points. In the stands, Dad pounds his fist on his chest, and she mimics the signal.

It represents a simple message -- "Play with heart!" -- but the Wimbledon champion didn't use the gesture during a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 upset loss to Mary Pierce in the U.S. Open's third round Saturday.

Instead, right over her heart and just below her sponsor's logo, Sharapova's silver dress carried a plain black ribbon. She wore it in memory of the more than 350 people killed -- nearly half children -- in a hostage-taking at a school in her native Russia, wrote Indianapolis Star.

"I lost today, but I still have to move on. It's not the end of the world," said Sharapova, who double-faulted 14 times and dropped the final five games. "There are a lot more important things in the world going on right now."

Given her almost perfect English, her all-grown-up strokes and her poise on and off the court, it's easy to forget that Sharapova is just 17 and was born in Siberia, reports Chicago Sun Times.

Read earlier news stories by PRAVDA.Ru

&to=http:// ' target=_blank>

&to=http:// ' target=_blank>

Subscribe to Pravda.Ru Telegram channel, Facebook, RSS!

Author`s name Editorial Team